An ordinance barring county employees from gathering campaign signatures in the workplace was pushed forward Tuesday.

The Orange County Board of Supervisors, in a 4 to 1 vote, decided to send the measure to a second reading.

Supervisor John Moorlach dissented.

Supervisor Todd Spitzer proposed the rule after allegations emerged that county Assessor Webster Guillory had gathered employee signatures for his reelection nomination papers during work time — although Spitzer has stressed that the measure is aimed more at preventing bad behavior in the future than at bringing down the hammer on rule-breakers.

Campaigning in the workplace, he said, is just inappropriate.

"It's intimidating," he said when reached Wednesday. "What employee in their right mind would say no to somebody who was either their boss or could possibly become their boss?"

But Moorlach said Wednesday that Guillory's alleged conduct marked a "once in a quasquicentennial occurrence" and therefore didn't merit a whole new law.

He added that if an employee is happy with a boss, then he or she should have ample opportunity to support that person without onerous regulation.

"I thought it was a little bit of overkill," Moorlach said.

—Jill Cowan